Weather might be a factor in Arlington school bond election

Voting ends today on $96 million for school construction and security upgrades.

Weather might be a factor in Arlington school bond election

ARLINGTON — It’s election day and voters in the Arlington School District are once again considering a big investment in students’ future.

Meanwhile, voters in a swath of unincorporated South County have a chance to phase out part of their past.

The deadline for returning ballots is at 8 p.m.

Ballots returned by mail do not require postage. But they must be postmarked by Feb. 12. Those received with a later postmark will not be counted.

Or, up until 8 p.m., ballots can be placed postage-free in one of eight designated drop boxes in use this election. Voters also can bring voted ballots to the county Auditor’s office between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Arlington School District voters are deciding the fate of a $96 million bond measure.

If passed, it would allow the district to tear down the existing Post Middle School and replace it with a $75 million building. It also would fund about $10 million in additions to Arlington High School and security upgrades.

This is the third time in a year that voters have been asked by the district to pass a school bond. After two failed attempts in 2018, the school board trimmed the amount in hopes of garnering enough support.

Thus far, turnout is trending lower than those previous votes. The unusually stormy weather may be a factor.

“We are concerned that the snow will keep people from getting out to vote, but we are more concerned and focused on getting schools opened and students safely back to school,” Superintendent Chrys Sweeting said Monday.

School bond measures must meet two thresholds to pass.

First, the total number of people who cast ballots must equal at least 40 percent of the number of voters in the November 2018 election. To achieve this validation figure, the Arlington School District will need at least 5,862 votes cast on the measure. As of Friday, 5,506 ballots had been returned.

Second, school bonds require a supermajority of 60 percent to pass. Last year, the larger bond put in front of district voters received 56 percent support in February and 52 percent in November.

Also Tuesday, voters in south Snohomish County will consider dissolving Snohomish County Fire District 1, a department that has essentially existed in name only since October 2017.

At that time, voters in District 1 and the city of Lynnwood approved creation of a regional fire authority known as South County Fire. The new agency absorbed all of the functions of District 1. Voters are now being asked to approve the district’s dissolution by the end of 2019.

Service is unaffected by the measure. All firefighters from District 1 became employees of South County Fire when it was formed.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@herald net.com. Twitter: @dospueblos.

Where to drop ballots

For this election, there are eight designated boxes in Snohomish County in which voted ballots can be placed without a stamp until 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Here are the locations:

Arlington: 135 N Washington Ave. (near library)

Bothell: 22833 Bothell Everett Hwy. (QFC parking lot)

Everett: Rockefeller Ave. and Wall Street (Courthouse Campus)

Everett: 600 128th St SE. (McCollum Park & Ride)

Lynnwood: 19100 44th Ave. W. (in front of City Hall)

Mill Creek: 159th Pl SE and Mill Creek Blvd. (in turnaround near post office)

Mukilteo: 4675 Harbour Pointe Blvd. (near library)

Smokey Point: 3300 169th Pl NE. (near Lowe’s)

Voters may also drop completed ballots at the county Auditor’s Office from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. The office is at 3000 Rockefeller Ave. in Everett.

For more information, call the elections office 425-388-3444 or send an email to elections@snoco.org.

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